In case you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE Batman fan. I’ve loved the character my entire life and can not recall a time in which I did not.
But there’s another comic book superhero I’ve been a big fan of since I was a little boy and that would be Superman. (Check out the pics below of me as a 3 year old!)
As a kid, Batman was at the top of the list…but Superman was my number two. SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE is one of my favorite films, ranks second on my list of greatest comic book movies of all-time, and still one of my fondest movie-going experiences in my life. With that said, I’ll get back to Superman shortly.
Today, I’ve been spoiled as Batman fan — all Batman fans have. The Dark Knight is arguably the single most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream audience. Thus, we have seen — and will continue to see — him in comics (his original medium), animated movies, animated films, video games, TV shows (the 60s BATMAN series, FOX’s GOTHAM), and of course, in major live-action films.
Speaking of Batman in movies, since 1989, Batman has appeared as a major character in 9 feature films. On the average, that’s a Batman movie hitting theaters about every 3 years. So when I see people clamoring — and in many cases, demanding — news about Matt Reeves’ solo Batman movie, I’ve gotta chuckle. The last time we saw Batman up on the silver screen (as I write this article, of course) was less than a year ago in JUSTICE LEAGUE. Yet, some folks act like it’s been years since the last Batman movie.
No, it has not been years, it’s only been months. Batman fans are simply spoiled AF. Now, Back to Superman…
Batman fans, put yourself in the shoes of your fellow Superman fans. (And yes, I know some of you all love the characters equally.) If you were a Superman fan like you are a fan of Batman, how would you feel right now about Superman’s film history and future?
Since the aforementioned SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE hit theaters in 1978, he has been a major character in 8 films. That averages out to about a Superman film about every 5 years. Furthermore, except for first two films starring the late great Christopher Reeve (S:TM and SUPERMAN II), the other 6 movies have underwhelmed to various degrees at the box office, with audiences, or both.
Even now when you have probably the best actor to don the blue tights and red cape since Reeve — Henry Cavill — The Man of Steel’s movie future is uncertain.
And that sucks.
As someone who believes Cavill makes a great Superman — in front of the camera as an actor and as a wonderful ambassador of the character off screen — it will be sad and a damn waste if this dude doesn’t get another solo Superman film. Not for for Cavill per se, but for fans — including yours truly.
In MAN OF STEEL, we got a pretty damn good Superman film. And while I know it has its detractors and didn’t make as much as the box office as Warner Bros. hoped (expected), I’m a big MOS fan and will defend the heck out of it. So, instead of a true Superman sequel to MOS as originally planned (it was supposed to be Superman’s BATMAN BEGINS), WB decided to insert Batman into the film, regulate Superman to an extended cameo (in his sequel!), and then kill him off at the end. And in JUSTICE LEAGUE, Cavill appears as Superman in yet another extended cameo with a F’ed-up, CGI-altered face.
The ironic — and maddening — thing about JL is that we did finally get to see (briefly) a happy and heroic Superman and it shows what could be done with Cavill in a well-made solo Superman movie.
Superman fans — and I count myself as one of your brethren — I feel for you all. The Big Blue Boy Scout has indeed been getting the short end of the stick when it comes to his cinematic endeavors. And just when things on that front started to look up (MAN OF STEEL), he gets shortchanged, screwed over (BATMAN v SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE), and left in limbo once again.
I’m still holding out hope that Warner Bros. gives it another go with Cavill in a proper Superman solo movie that represents what’s so great about this iconic character. I believe you can “Amnesia-It” (i.e. simply “conveniently forget” about BvS and JL) and make a damn good “Superman Movie” at the helm of a filmmaker who has a passion, vision and respect for the character.
If I'm Cavill, I'd be like… 🖕🖕🖕…I'm going to go be the next Bond. For Nolan.
— Bill "Jett" Ramey (@BATMANONFILM) July 30, 2018
(Although, there’s a part of me that wishes Cavill would walk and go be the next F’n James Bond…with Chris Nolan directing.)
But alas, I don’t make the decisions when it comes to DC on film at Warner Bros.
There will be another Superman movie someday relatively soon. Whether it will feature Cavill’s Superman (in a semi-soft reboot, preferably), or a total reboot with a new actor in the role, my figures are crossed that Warner Bros. has learned from their past Super-mistakes (the killed-right-before-filming-commenced SUPERMAN LIVES; SUPERMAN RETURNS‘ too-overt tribute to the Donner/Reeves Superman; and the Bat-hijacking of the MAN OF STEEL sequel with BATMAN v SUPERMAN) and get it right next time.
Superman deserves it…and so do his Super-fans. – Bill “Jett” Ramey